Healthy gut critical for immunity and wellness

A healthy gut is critical for good health as it promotes normal gastrointestinal function, protects against infection, regulates metabolism and comprises over 75% of our immune system.

An unhealthy lifestyle, chronic stress, excessive use of antibiotics and bad nutrition such as a diet high in sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates all contribute to an unhealthy gut and poor immunity, says nutritional consultant ,Vanessa Ascencao (www.vdanutrition.com).

Ascencao says an unhealthy gut may contribute to autism, depression, ADHD, acne, psoriasis, eczema and autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease (chronic inflammation and failure of the thyroid gland), Crohn’s disease (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and type 1 diabetes.

The gut is a hollow tube which passes from the mouth to the anus. Its main purpose is to prevent foreign substances from entering the body. When the gut or intestinal tract becomes penetrable, large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream and are attacked by the immune system.

Studies show that these attacks contribute to autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s and type 1 diabetes.  In addition, the breach of the intestinal barrier by food toxins like gluten and certain chemicals causes an immune response which may also affect other organs and tissues (see here).

 

In addition to consulting your GP, Ascencao recommends these tips for a healthy gut:

–  Chew food properly

–  Follow an anti-inflammatory diet and avoid all food toxins. These include refined grains, industrialised seed oils, sugar and processed soy.

–  Avoid sweetened and spicy foods.

–  Eat fermented foods like plain (sugar-free) organic yoghurt and kefir. Sauerkraut and kimchi are also excellent gut foods.

–  Avoid coffee

–  Take a high quality probiotic.

–  Follow food combining principles and leave at least 4 hours between meals for optimal digestion.

–  Don’t eat late at night.

–  Get eight hours sleep a night.

–  Manage stress, practice breathing exercises and try Bach rescue remedy to relax.

–  Try nature-based multi-nutrient Marcus Rohrer Spirulina. Spirulina boosts immunity, promotes optimal gastrointestinal flora and digestion, -helps to control blood sugar levels, promotes heart health, suppresses inflammation, curbs hunger and increases energy.

 

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Spirulina is also a potent antioxidant which boosts the immune system and helps supress inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals. It may also combat unhealthy micro-organisms in the intestinal tract (see here).

Marcus Rohrer Spirulina is available at Dis-Chem, Clicks and most major pharmacies.

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